The all-new 2017 Buick LaCrosse introduced the new face of Buick, influenced by the dramatic cues of the award-winning Avenir concept unveiled at the 2015 North American International Auto Show in Detroit and inspired by a Buick concept from the mid-20th century.
The Buick LaCrosse, which went on sale in early summer 2016, features a new grille design with a large opening distinguished by the return of a three-color – red, silver and blue – Buick tri-shield insignia, accented by wing-shaped elements set against darkened waterfall grille bars inspired by the 1954 Wildcat II concept.
“The new LaCrosse is drop-dead gorgeous and signals the next phase of Buick’s international momentum,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president of Global Buick. “Its quietness, comfort and connectivity were developed to set new standards in the segment, supported by technologies not offered on competitors such as the Lexus ES.”
Longer, lower and wider than the current model, the 2017 LaCrosse is built on a stronger yet lighter structure. It is about 300 pounds lighter than the current LaCrosse – largely due to the use of press-hardened, high-strength steels – which contribute to greater efficiency and more responsive handling.
The new Buick LaCrosse’s lower weight is also due in part to new lower mass sound-absorbing materials including a lightweight dissipative dash mat in place of heavier noise-blocking pads that result in a new threshold for Buick’s signature QuietTuning.
The balance of the efficiency equation comes from a technologically advanced, second-generation 3.6L V-6 engine paired with a new eight-speed automatic transmission. Standard Stop/Start technology improves efficiency in stop-and-go driving.
“We’ve blended sophisticated technologies and advanced safety systems to offer a more enjoyable and engaging driving experience,” said Aldred. “It’s a rewarding sedan for those who seek luxurious appointments, style and quality.”
New face of Buick
The new Buick LaCrosse’s expressive exterior design creates a new proportion for a more dramatic road presence. The front wheels have been pulled forward and the wheelbase stretched 2.7 inches (65 mm), while the overall length is only 0.6-inch longer (15 mm). The dynamic proportion is further enhanced by a roofline that’s 1.6 inches (40 mm) lower than the current model.
The longer wheelbase is matched by wheels pushed outward 1.3 inches (33 mm) in the front and 1.1 inches (28 mm) in the rear, while the car’s width has grown only 0.4-inch (10 mm), creating a wheels-at-corners stance intended to convey road confidence.
“It’s a sleeker design that looks confident and purposeful,” said Holt Ware, exterior design director. “Stretching the wheelbase, lowering the roofline and making it slightly wider creates a dramatic effect that is enhanced by the design’s supporting elements such as the swept headlamps.”
The signature sweepspear body-side design element has been reinterpreted in a modern fashion, enhancing the car’s sculpture. The split design gives the body side a greater perception of depth, while picking up additional body lines for an elegant, uninterrupted flow from the front fenders to the rear.
The 2017 LaCrosse’s body lines are reinforced by a longer “daylight opening” – the portion of the upper body between the A- and C-pillars. They’re ringed with chrome, intended to add a tastefully restrained premium accent to the body side.
Other details blend form and function. Outside mirrors are mounted on pedestals on the doors rather than the corners of the front side windows. The design offers a greater field of view while the mirror housings were shaped in the wind tunnel to help reduce wind noise.
Aerodynamic considerations also drove the dynamic sweep of the decklid, which acts as a spoiler to make the most of airflow over the LaCrosse. Deflectors in front of the tires help reduce drag.
Additional exterior elements include:
- Standard high-intensity discharge headlamps, LED signature lighting and ED taillamps are standard
- Eighteen-inch wheels are standard and 20-inch wheels are available
- Active grille shutters, which open and close automatically to control airflow, reducing aerodynamic drag and improving fuel efficiency.
- Capless fuel filler on all models.
Seamless ambience, authentic craftsmanship
The new Buick LaCrosse’s interior is designed to offer an open and inviting space for passengers – one that is relaxing, luxurious and well-connected. Sculpturally beautiful form and premium materials complement technologies developed for effortless interfacing.
It is the first Buick with a single cockpit design aesthetic, characterized by a horizontal form that sweeps across the instrument panel and into the doors. It also incorporates a “floating” center console that positions the controller for the new Electronic Precision Shift high and close to the driver, while creating storage space below the console for items such as a handbag or tablet.
“There is fluidity in the interior forms – a seamless ambience that flows throughout the cabin,” said Liz Wetzel, interior design director. “Like the exterior, there is sculptural beauty in the interior’s functionality, complemented with high-quality, authentic materials and exceptional attention to detail.”
That attention to detail includes soft materials for practically every touchpoint; French stitching on the seats, instrument panel and more, aluminum sill plates and wood decorative trim, depending on the model.
“There is a handcrafted essence that is inviting and rewarding,” said Wetzel. “It is a clean environment designed to refresh and inspire.”
New and enhanced available luxury features amplify the LaCrosse’s comfort:
- Three fashion-inspired interior trim choices: Jet Black, Dark Atmosphere and Shale, and Jet Black and Brandy
- Contemporary Moon White ambient lighting
- Eight-way-adjustable heated and ventilated front seats with improved heating for quicker warm-up on cold mornings and a new massage feature
- Perforated leather-appointed seats
- Heated steering wheel with power tilting/telescoping steering column
- Dual-zone automatic climate control
- Power rear sunshade
- Premium Bose® audio system.
It also offers greater, more practical storage space and easier access. The rear doors, for example, open wider and offer easier entry/egress. The trunk offers approximately 7 percent more storage space than the current model, and was configured to accommodate four golf bags.
Sophisticated, intuitive technologies – including phone integration
As one of the segment’s most technologically advanced vehicles, the new LaCrosse offers a host of communication and convenience features designed for effortless connectivity.
The central technology is the latest edition of Buick IntelliLink, which is displayed in a new, frameless 8-inch-diagonal color touchscreen located at the center of an ergonomically optimized instrument panel. Along with the climate system and other features on the “center stack,” it was designed with fewer buttons and controls for more intuitive use.
Phone integration technology is paired with IntelliLink and is designed to display phone features users would want while driving and put them on the 8-inch display via Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. The features allow customers to use select smartphone apps through the touchscreen interface. Many features can be controlled via voice commands through a button on the steering wheel, helping drivers keep their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel.
Additional LaCrosse technology highlights include:
- All-new Electronic Precision Shift – Rather than a traditional shifter, gears are chosen and engaged via a simple toggle pull. It provides smooth, precise and responsive shifting while enabling added storage in the center console.
- Configurable, high-definition driver information center – Located in the center of the gauge cluster and flanked by round instrument binnacles, it has a large, 8-inch-diagonal full-color display.
- Head-up display – This available feature offers four page views: speed, audio, navigation and performance. It also offers alerts for certain active safety features such as Lane Keep Assist and Forward Collision Alert.
- Available Teen Driver Technology – It encourages safe driving habits for new drivers by muting the audio or any device paired with the vehicle when front-seat occupants aren’t wearing their safety belts. It also provides audible and visual warnings when the vehicle is traveling over predetermined speeds – and offers a driving “report card” for parents.
- Wireless charging – When equipped with this available feature, the phone storage slot in the center console enables inductive charging without plug-ins or cables.
Buick QuietTuning process
The new Buick LaCrosse builds on the reputation of the current model to offer an even quieter driving experience.
Additional quieting features include:
- New five-link rear suspension for greater isolation from road noise than the current four-link design
- Active noise cancellation is standard on all models
- Acoustic wheelhouse liners
- Acoustic-laminated windshield and front side windows
- Triple-sealed doors
- Improved body noise-path sealing
- Windshield wipers “park” below the hood line to reduce wind noise.
Buick LaCrosse’s all-new 3.6L V-6 engine with direct injection and dual overhead cams is the second generation of GM’s DOHC V-6 engine family and incorporates new features such as Active Fuel Management (cylinder deactivation) and Stop/Start technology.
The Active Fuel Management system temporarily deactivates two of the 3.6L’s cylinders in light-load driving conditions to enhance fuel efficiency and seamlessly reactivates them when full power is needed.
With the efficiency-enhancing Stop/Start system, the engine shuts down in certain driving conditions such as at a stop light to reduce fuel consumption. It automatically restarts when the driver takes his or her foot off the brake pedal.
An all-new noise-reducing cam drive system contributes to the LaCrosse’s benchmark quietness.
The 3.6L is General Motors-estimated at 305 horsepower (227 kW) and 268 lb-ft of torque (363 Nm); and it’s matched with a new eight-speed automatic transmission.
Balanced, efficient driving experience
The 2017 LaCrosse offers enhanced capability with Buick’s first twin-clutch all-wheel-drive system. It offers better performance during acceleration and cornering by splitting torque between the rear wheels for optimal performance and uses independent clutch actuation to determine and control the amount of torque sent to each rear wheel.
A new five-link rear suspension is the central component of the improved ride and handling characteristics. It helps reduces roll center motion, enables positive lateral control and promotes dynamic stability. In short, it helps keep the tires planted on all surfaces – and contributes to a quieter ride through greater isolation from road noise.
At the front, a MacPherson-strut suspension is standard and Buick’s HiPer Strut suspension is used on front-wheel-drive models with 20-inch wheels. It helps reduce torque steer and maintain negative camber during cornering, improving maximum grip in all road conditions. It also improves the direct feel of the vehicle, while isolating undesirable feedback.
Available, electronically controlled Continuous Damping Control further optimizes ride comfort and handling capabilities over varying road surfaces and profiles. It’s an active suspension system that can adjust damping every two milliseconds, with Touring and Sport damping modes selected by the driver through the Electronic Precision Shift.
Also contributing to Buick LaCrosse’s more-direct driving experience is an enhanced, rack-mounted electronic power steering system, which incorporates Lead-Pull Compensation, automatically adjusting the steering angle to account for factors like crowned roads or high crosswinds.
Additional chassis and driver control features on the 2017 LaCrosse include:
- Low-drag four-wheel disc brakes with Duralife rotors, which offer up to double the service life of conventional rotors
- Hill Start Assist with Automatic Vehicle Hold, which can hold the brakes up to five minutes, depending on conditions
- Electronic park brake
- Shear-type suspension mounts that offer greater ride, handling and noise isolation attributes.